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242                                    VEBDICT  OX IXDIA
time, the chief point to be noted is that the Congress suggestion
that ca speaker in Hindustani can make himself understood all
over India' is a blatant lie. In vast tracks of the country he could
not even ask the way nor order a cup of tea, let alone express
complicated thought-processes such as 'give me the pencil of the
aunt of the gardener.5 Perhaps that is just as well, for if he did get
hold of the pencil, he would only write more nonsense with it.
It would be obviously grotesque to attempt to tackle this
leviathan of a subject in a footnote ; these few paragraphs are not
to be regarded as any attempt to do so; they are merely an en-
deavour to suggest the lines along which the interested student
would most profitably pursue his research.
Britain's industrial and agricultural policy is and always has
been the least creditable part of her Indian record. When Con-
gress shoots at it they are shooting, for a change, with live ammuni-
tion instead of a lot of noisy blanks. It may be true that any other
imperialist power would have behaved worse, that our exploita-,
tions have been tempered by occasional outbursts of humanity
and that our inefficiency has been the result of ignorance rather
than of malice ; the fact remains that the exploitations have been
gross and the inefficiency widespread.
It is monstrous, for example, that a Delhi the Department of
Lands—which is an agricultural country like India is of vital
importance, dealing as it does with such primary problems as
afforestation and irrigation—should be crowded into a single
small office with the Department of Health and the Department
of Education. It is like entrusting the Ministry of Information to
an office boy (though some office boys would provide a happy eoi*-
trast to some Ministers of Information). It is equally monstrous
that in the fifth year of war, after rivers of ink have flowed in
celebration of India's development as an 'arsenal of democracy,'
there should not be in the whole country a single factory capable of
producing anything but a few spare parts for one or two of the
more primitive war machines. When Congress proclaims thai*
Britain has deliberately kept India in a state of industrial bacEr
wardress, Congress is telling nothing but the truth. It may be a